Anthony Igbinogun, 48, and Joy Umukoro, 28, were detained by the Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking after they allegedly sold their one-month-old child to support their drug addiction.
Precious James, 26, who brokered the illicit transaction and connected the suspects to the baby’s buyer in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, was also detained with the suspects.
Abigail Ihonre, head of the investigative unit for the Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking, had a press conference in Benin City. She revealed that the baby was sold for N1.7 million and stated that the investigation to save the kid was still underway to find the buyer of the one-month-old infant.
“Our investigations revealed that the mother of the baby, Joy Umukoro, delivered the child in April 2023 and conspired with her boyfriend to sell their child for N1.7 million,” Ihonre said. She has admitted to the baby’s sale crime.
Investigation into the case is ongoing as we work harder to find the buyers and the baby since it will be brought up in court at the latest on Monday, June 26, 2023, to ensure that everyone responsible faces the consequences of their unlawful behavior.
The suspects said they were unable to care for the infant, which is why they committed the heinous act. These people, who are said to be drug addicts, chose to sell the baby after realizing they couldn’t care for him. However, since the choice would endanger their lives, that wasn’t the greatest course of action for them.
“Around seven years in prison is the punishment for trafficking. I implore parents who are unable to care for their children to bring them instead to the Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking, where we work with the Ministry of Gender and Women Affairs, or to other organizations that care for children. It is not a smart idea to sell that child because the result could land you in jail.
Joy Umukoro, the mother of the infant, claimed that they paid N700,000 for the one-month-old infant to be sold to a willing buyer in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. She added that N500,000 was paid in cash, N170,000 was paid to the agent who delivered the infant to the buyer, and the remaining funds were used to buy drugs.
She claims, “After having the baby, life got really tough. I asked my friend for help finding a buyer, and she gave me the link. I took another woman to Port Harcourt where we sold the baby for 700,000 naira. The culprit is the medication I take. In addition, I gave some money for maintenance to my other two kids and some more for my dad’s funeral.
The kid’s father, Igbinogun, stated: “We stayed together and had the baby, and the mother said she couldn’t care for the infant. When she returned, she offered me N100,000, she said, adding that her friend Precious James had found a buyer and proceeded to Rivers State to sell the kid.
Precious James, who arranged the unlawful transaction, added, “My friend told me she sold the baby for seven hundred thousand naira and when she came back, she bought drugs for me from the money.” She also claimed that they are all drug users and couldn’t care for the child.